The “real” Chris Smith is running for the Broward County Commission seat currently occupied by the controversial Dale Holness. Christopher Lavon Smith filed campaign paperwork for the District 9 seat representing Fort Lauderdale, Lauderdale Lakes, and Lauderhill. Smith, a powerful member of the Florida State Senate, cannot seek re-election due to term limits.
Earlier this year, REDBROWARD exposed the “false” Chris Smith in the same District 9 race.
A review of campaign documents, business records and domain registrations shows Robert “Chris” Smith created the campaign website for his opponent, McKinley Williams II. To help promote his campaign, Williams opened the “McKinleyForBroward.Org” website.
Williams launched his County Commission campaign in July 2014. Records show the website domain names, “McKinleyForBroward.org” and “McKinleyForBroward.com” were purchased on September 9, 2014 by Robert Smith. A week earlier, Williams paid Robert Smith $120.00 for “campaign work.”
On March 16, 2015, Robert D. “Chris” Smith entered the District 9 County Commission Race as a No Party Affiliation (NPA) candidate. On his campaign paperwork, Smith lists his email as “firstname.lastname@example.org.” This is the same email used to register the McKinley Williams websites. Smith appears to be a man of mystery.
Smith uses a Fort Lauderdale apartment complex as his address, but he does not list an apartment number. According to social media sites, Smith a technology expert, regularly hosts technology and commerce networking meetings in the south Miami/Dadeland area. Even more mysterious is Smith’s nickname.
Other than his campaign documents, no records show Smith using the nickname “Chris.” Social media, corporation and online resumes show Robert Smith or Robert D. Smith.
In April, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported how Smith’s nickname may be a political ploy against the “real” Chris Smith.
Political reporter Brittany Wallman reported the term-limited State Sen. Chris Smith is rumored to be interested in the District 9 seat. “If Sen. Smith runs for the seat, and if he were victorious in the August Democratic primary, he’d share the ballot with the other Chris Smith, undoubtedly leading to some confusion,” Wallman wrote.
State Sen. Smith laughed off the ploy. “I’m just proud I made ‘Chris Smith’ such a popular name in Central Broward County,” he said.
Let the confusion begin.
In a statement released on Facebook, the “Real” Chris Smith said, “Representing the many voices of Broward County in the Legislature has been one of my greatest honors, Whether it was in the House or the Senate, serving the people and improving their quality of life has always been my first priority. As a county commissioner, I intend to continue that commitment, and build new, exciting opportunities for Broward County’s future.”